By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
One striking feature in Christian faith is that it is a most persevering faith.
1. No failures daunt it.
2. No difficulties alarm it.
3. No troubles quench it.
4. No taunts shame it.Now the particular property and work of faith we are called upon to examine and contemplate is this persevering nature of it. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days." Let us examine the full spiritual force of this.
(1) The city of Jericho was strong.
(2) The host which besieged and took the city of Jericho was a large and strong host, well tried and disciplined by the trials of the wilderness, led on by their leader Joshua. So the power which must besiege the wicked heart of man, and the sinful inclinations harboured therein, must be the soul well tried by sorrow and well schooled in adversity, strengthened by the Spirit of God.
(3) And the way they took the city was by encompassing it seven times, as God had appointed; so at length the walls fell down, and they entered. So also the enemies which our hearts contain must be subdued only in certain appointed ways — by prayer, the Sacraments, the Word of God, His public service, self-denial, and repentance. This, then, is the spiritual force and application of the text to ourselves.And before I proceed to the particular examination of the subject let me make some general remarks on it.
1. It reminds us that our hearts, like Jericho, do harbour the enemies of God.
2. We are reminded how we must drive them out. by the grace and the guidance of Christ. Men adopt many ways, but there is but one way. Some try to drive out bad passions by philosophy and learning. Another will try and overcome his bad heart by living away from the world. Another will try to overcome his sinful heart by works of charity, self-denial, and benevolence. Some people seem to think that natural kindness and morality makes up for, and so subdues the bad heart. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days." Nothing but the grace of God's Holy Spirit, applied to us through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, and gained by faith, can enable us permanently and really to subdue our hearts. But let us examine the more particular working and view of faith which this text suggests. Let us, then, see what this perseverance is —
1. Perseverance requires a continual struggle, only to be ended with life itself.
2. But again, what is perseverance applied to? First, the repressing sin; secondly, the doing good.
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.